The story repeats itself, and it’s as it should be.
When the fog lifts and the clouds clear, we drive to the beach. My sister’s house in Brittany is rather inland, so we have a range of beaches to choose from, and yet nine times out of ten we end up in the same place, Trégastel. It’s an old-fashioned seaside resort on a stunning stretch of coast, punctuated by huge pink granite boulders; inviting, menacing at times, teetering. It’s breathtaking. But the draw of Trégastel is more than the boulders and the beach; as Northern Brittany goes it can even become somewhat crowded on August weekends. Trégastel has become a story.
We dip into the water; sometimes only halfway, if it’s bitterly cold and the sea endlessly shallow from the ebb of the tide. The receding water of those notoriously steep tides leaves crabs scurrying, pools among the rocks with shrimp and small fish trapped until the flow. There are seashells to be gathered, sand castles to be built, and kites to be flown.
Everyone is getting hungry. As evening draws, we pack our beach bags, cross one stretch of sand, and climb the coastal path to the old harbor, the seaside center of town. It’s nearly 8pm but the sun is still high in the sky as we take our seats on the waterfront terrace of the crêperie. They aren’t particularly friendly there and our large groups usually upwards of ten often leave the staff visibly irritated. It’s a touristy location, right by the water with a postcard worthy view of the sea, the granite, the boats. But that’s all part of it — this summer ritual.
The galettes are very good, of course, which is essential. But it’s equally about the grumpy waiters, the setting sun, another cup of cider, the children running off to the beach the instant they’ve devoured their last bite, the elusive green flash, the treacherous walk back to the car in the dark. It’s become a tradition, perfect in all its imperfections.
A summer memory.
Crêperie Sucré Salé
Place du Coz Pors, Trégastel
33 (0)2 96 23 81 31
The galettes (savory buckwheat crêpes) are excellent here. I rarely stray from the classic ‘complète’ (with egg, ham, and cheese), though I’ve sometimes added tomatoes and onions, but all the garnishes are very good. For a bit of a change (not that I would), the mussel dishes are also delicious. I don’t find the sweet crêpes as exciting, so I always order my dessert crêpes on a buckwheat galette, and that combination is amazing.